The full story about Google and highjacks


Some odd WembmasterWorld member with a nickname like mine has posted the full story about what really happens when Googlebot meets one of those 302 redirect scripts. It's sort of technical, but in a non-technical way.

Thought you might be interested: The full story of Google and 302s (see msg #54)


The thread is related to another current one, Lost in Google, and both - as well as other threads (including this one with people actually using 302's) - have a lot of members urging Google to fix this problem

This has been a hot topic for a while now. It's not exactly a new one, though, as you can see from post #8 here. The latter has also been mentioned on kuro5hin lately (thanks kpaul :-). Now, whaddayaknow... i even found a related threadwatch thread, so i gues that it is really important after all.


could be...

i'm not sure if it's in part one or what - it takes hours to read those threads... don't recall a specific request not to post though.

Was the Allegra thread the one...

...where GG asked people not to post but to use the feb05 email addy instead???

Definitely a good campaign ..

Yes, until recently I never really paid much attention

I suspect its much bigger a problem than has been realised by most webmasters to date.

I doubt that G will be releasing any figures on the extent of the problem !


I don't really know what measure we should use to gauge this...

The two largest threads at WMW at the moment have 173+282 = 456 posts right now, and then there are all the smaller threads that have been appearing for a long time, as well as threads on other forums. Anyway, some members post in both threads, and some post many times, just like in the update threads. Let's try:


Part 1 of the update Allegra thread growed to 823 posts in 7 days.

One redirect thread was started on March 27 but did not take off until i posted three days ago - 286 posts now, four added as i wrote the above.

The second redirect thread started on February 27, but did not take off until Japanese posted six days ago - 173 posts now.


After three days, the post count of the Allegra update thread was 293, so it seems pretty big to me by that specific measure.


Still don't know if it's the right measure, as a lot of webmasters don't even know webmasterworld. But, i guess that's the same with updates.

As a campaign

Definately good campagin for the webmaster community benefit and one that should get some press and deserved press at that

Claus thanks...

...and Nick, perhaps as a "campaigning" journalist, this hould be your next campaign.

Claus, do we know how big the problem is.

let it fly...

As per post #279 you are now licensed as free to copy the whole post #54 to any other site as long as you do five very simple and easy things.

>> Basically how easy is it to fix, and why are they not fixing it?

I believe that if this was really easy to fix it would have been fixed long ago. I certainly don't believe it can't be fixed. It's probably extremely complicated though. I guess that relative to the complexity of a solution it just hasn't been seen as a really important problem because it has not been as widespread as it is now.

I do believe that it is very complicated and hard to fix, and even harder to fix for Google than it was for Yahoo! It might even have some implications for their whole file system and database structure, i think. So, i assume it's causing some engineers pulling hair out and getting headaches at the moment.

The "logical easy fix" would be to let the bot recognize if a redirect crossed the border to another domain name (but, only for a 302 or meta redirect - not if it is a 301). If so, it should just be treated like any other link. At least i've recommended this in a few posts.

Still, "easy" is conceptually easy it's not programmatically easy, as it's not just about the bot.

And, i don't know if they want to do exactly this. If they want to it still has to be programmed, and when it's programmed, tests need to be run to assure the bot behaves as it should. Then, this program needs to be rolled out to all the bots, and the whole index needs to be re-spidered to sort this out. And that's not even enough, as they need to establish new database rules and methods to receive input from the bot in order to correct the listings. This also has to be tested before rollout. Then, of course they have to do an update of some kind. So, it's definitely not simple.

As someone that is suffering from this


As a non advanced techie sort of person, can you explain what and how Google can sort this issue as a whole. You say

"The problem is created by and within Google, so Google is the one and only party that can fix it."

Basically how easy is it to fix, and why are they not fixing it?

You're welcome

It's really a sad issue, as once you're hit by this there's nothing at all you can do about it as a webmaster. You might be able to take a few precautions, as mentioned in post #218 but it's not certain that they will work, and it's very unlikely that they will remedy the problem once you have been hit.

The problem is created by and within Google, so Google is the one and only party that can fix it.


Nice post claus. I really needed it.

Great Post

It was a real worthwhile read.